The New York Rangers head into tonight’s matchup with the New Jersey Devils holding a 4-4 record. While Marian Gaborik, Rick Nash and Brad Richards lead the team in scoring as expected, there has been a serious lack of secondary scoring to help the team out, something their record reflects.
The Rangers have gotten a pair of goals from Michael Del Zotto, but have received little other help from their defensemen. Ryan Callahan’s injury makes the scoring lapse an even bigger problem because only he and Taylor Pyatt had more than one goal while playing outside the top line. Pyatt is starting to find some good chemistry with youngsters Derek Stepan and Carl Hagelin, which is great news for the team moving forward. The line combined for five points in Saturday’s 3-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning, with Stepan and Hagelin getting their first goals of the season.
The team also added Darroll Powe from the Minnesota Wild on Monday and he could make his Rangers debut against the Devils. Powe will immediately help on the penalty kill, but has never scored more than nine goals in a season. The Rangers also called up 2011 first round draft pick J.T. Miller from the AHL, potentially to make his NHL debut tonight. Miller has had a whirlwind year, winning a gold medal with Team USA at the World Junior Championship and immediately contributing for the Whale as a rookie. The 19-year-old winger has eight goals and 20 points in just 37 games. With all of this week’s roster shakeups, it is evident the team will not sit by while their players don’t produce. The Rangers sit 21st in the league in goal scoring and have the third-worst power play, so expect those to be the primary focal points for coach John Tortorella’s team this week.